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12 Non-toxic nail polish brands you can feel good about

The No Kill team is devoted to advocating for clean, non-toxic items, from clothing to beauty products. The need for non-toxic options applies to both the environment and human health. One such product we want to discuss is nail polish.

Painting your nails is always a fun activity and can even serve as a great outfit accessory! Unfortunately picking the right nail polish can be a bit tricky… and we do not just mean the color. Although it may seem minor, the toxins used by many polish brands cannot be overlooked.

Several nail polish brands have come up with safer, more natural alternatives, like ‘5 free’ and ’10 free’ polishes. The number represents the amount of different chemicals left out during the production of the nail polishes.

It has proven practically impossible to create nail polish that is 100% chemical free and 100% organic. However, there is a difference between a nail polish being chemical-free versus non-toxic. There are several brands that do, in fact, produce non-toxic polish; these are the nail polishes that you should be using!

Some studies have suggested that certain chemicals can enter the body through your nail beds. Experts agree that the quality of toxic-free nail polishes is indistinguishable from traditional (toxin-filled) polish. So, if they are safer options out there, why risk it?

Therefore, it is so important to be cautious, do your research and choose the non-toxic lesser evil when shopping for nail polish.

One particular chemical we feel strongly about is Benzophenone -1. As stated on sienna brand website

This one is the source of much controversy. Many 7-free, 10-free and ‘non-toxic’ nail polish brands still use Benzophenone-1 in their formulas. Benzophenone -1 is a UV blocker that is used in sunscreens as well as cosmetics to stop discoloration of products. Just to be clear, there are some studies that show it is relatively harmless in small quantities, however it has also been linked to breast cancer9, ovarian cancer10, prostate cancer11, and has been found in human placental tissue12. We have never used Benzophenone-1 and never will. Even though exposure in small quantities may be deemed harmless, the research speaks for itself.

While this revelation is quite daunting, that doesn’t mean you must stop manicures all together.

No Kill has taken the time to research non-toxic, Benzophenone -1-free nail polish alternatives. Here is the list of our top 12 polish brands that have developed more natural and less harmful nail polishes. Each brand has banned the use of Benzophenone -1 and several other toxic chemicals in their nail polish formulas.

1.     Sienna Byron Bay


2.     Zoya

IG: @zoyanailpolish

3.     Orly Beauty

IG: @orly

4.     Lakur by Londontown

IG: @londontownusa

5.     GREEN Manucurist Natural Nail Polish

IG: @manucurist

6.     Kure Bazaar

IG: @kurebazaar

7.     Côte 

IG: @coteshop

 8.     Olive + June

IG: @oliveandjune

9.     Huella

IG: @huellabeauty

10.  Sally Hansen GOOD. KIND. PURE.

IG: @sally_hansen

11.  Dazzle Dry

IG: @dazzledry

 12.  Plant Power Vegan Nail Polish by Nails.INC

IG: @nailsinc

Each and every brand listed above has a unique range of beautiful colors, so you are guaranteed to find a nail polish perfect for any season or occasion. Before your next manicure, whether it is at home or in a salon, make sure to check out these brands for healthier and safer option!

–Carolina McCormick

Sources: 1 National Cancer Institute- Formaldehyde and cancer risk 2 Australian Government Department of Health and Aging Therapeutic Goods Administration- Poison Standard 2012 3 Food and Drug Administration- Guidance for Industry, Limiting Use of Certain Phthalates as Excipients in CDER-Regulated Products 4 Occupational Safety and Health Administration- Toluene Safety in the Workplace 5 EWG Cosmetic Database, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin 6 Cosmetics Info- Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin 7 Toxnet- Camphor 8 ToxNO- Toxin Profiles, Xylene 9 NCBI- Benzophenone -1 and nonylphenol stimulated MCF-7 breast cancer growth by regulating cell cycle and metastasis-related genes via an estrogen receptor α-dependent pathway. 10 NCBI- Benzophenone -1 stimulated the growth of BG-1 ovarian cancer cells by cell cycle regulation via an estrogen receptor alpha-mediated signaling pathway in cellular and xenograft mouse models. 11 NCBI- Growth and migration of LNCaP prostate cancer cells are promoted by triclosan and benzophenone -1 via an androgen receptor signaling pathway 12 NCBI- Determination of parabens and benzophenone -type UV filters in human placenta. First description of the existence of benzyl paraben and benzophenone-4

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